casserole - Related Content

Enchilada Casserole

Monday, March 20th 2023 6:00 am

For sauce:

3 C ready-made Enchilada Sauce OR ...
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 C diced white onion, divided
2 small garlic cloves, diced
1 dried chipotle or Ancho chile pepper, stemmed
11/2 T chili powder
1 1/2 T dried oregano, Mexican, if available

For Enchiladas:
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
16 corn tortillas (5"-6")
2 C frozen peppers, any color, diced
2 C frozen corn
2 C shredded mild cheddar, Colby Jack or Monterey Jack cheese, divided


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • If making homemade Enchilada Sauce, combine tomatoes, 1 cup onion, garlic, chile, chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt in a blender; puree on high until smooth, about 1 minute OR use bottled Enchilada sauce.
  • Spread 1/2 cup sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Layer 4 tortillas over the sauce. Top with 1/2 cup peppers, 1/2 cup corn, 1/2 cup of cheese and 1/4 cup of the remaining onion. Repeat the layers twice. Top with the remaining tortillas, peppers, corn and onion. Spread the remaining sauce on top.
  • Coat a large piece of foil with cooking spray and cover the baking dish tightly. Bake the enchiladas for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
  • Continue baking until the cheese is melted and the edges are starting to brown, 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Homemade enchilada sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Label it well and make a freezer “pantry list” to remind you it’s there for next time!

An easy meatless Enchilada Casserole with a side of refried beans offers protein and veggies! This dish from Eating Well (pictured above), uses convenient, vegetables frozen at their peak of flavor and nutrients! I discovered organic veggies and fruits grown locally in my grocer’s organic freezer section. Look where you shop!

Organic products (produce, grains, dairy, meat) cost a bit more, but are an investment in the future of the environment and human health. At the recent Marbleseed Organic Farming Conferency (formerly MOSES), I bought a pass to visit just the exhibits on the last day. The exhibitor from Sno Pac Foods in Caledonia, MN. was excited to talk about their frozen fruits and vegetables, locally grown and widely distributed. This SE Minnesota company founded by JP Gengler has been organic for over 70 years, out of concern "for both the health of the people who are eating his (Gengler's) products, as well as being a good steward to the land we farm" as noted on the Sno Pact Foods website. When you can’t grow and process garden, store or farmer’s market produce, there are other organic options.

FSPA support their own organic garden and ethical use of the land on Saint Joseph Ridge. FSPA also supports the Logan Northside Neighborhood Garden to honor the earth and its people. We can vote for Mother earth with our forks, our funds and as advocates for good food products and policy.

Meaning of "Organic:" According to dietitian Sarah Brandt of the La Crosse Tribune (3.15.23), "Foods that carry the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) organic seal are produced without any synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. Organic foods also do not contain any GMOs (genetically modified organisms). Farms and food producers must be inspected by the USDA to confirm their organic status." Within the label "organic" there are various levels: "'100% Organic:' - The product is completely organic or made of only organic ingredients, 'Organic' - At least 95% of the ingredients are organic, 'Made with organic ingredients' - At least 70% organic ingredients; these products do not qualify for a USDA organic seal." It takes effort to be an informed consumer, but it's worth it.

An Indigenous farmer's perspective on the term "organic"

Another discovery boat Marbleseed's book exhibit The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming quotes a North Carolina Cherokee farmer named Kevin Welch. Kevin works with the Cherokee Center for Food and the Cherokee Seed Bank. He says, "We use the term 'best management practices.' We don't use the term 'organic.' Organic is a government-produced word. Labeling your stuff organic is what people do to sell. Commercial growers use the word for marketing. But for a lot of small growers, we can't afford not to be 'organic.' Have you seen the prices of all those chemicals? We just plant complementary plants; we use pepper spray; we make our own compost. This is just wise and the best thing to do good for your plans and the environment." Sounds to me a like JP Gengler!

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Summer Squash Casserole

Monday, August 22nd 2022 6:00 am

Summer Squash Casserole

Here’s an easy Summer Squash Casserole with roots in the southern U.S. Read on to meet southern chef Vivian Howard, view her “Old School Squash and Onions” recipe and hear her stories.

Makes 8 - 10 side dish servings. If you don’t need 8-10 servings, you could make two casseroles and share one with a friend!

3 lb. yellow squash (4 small), cut in 1 / 4” thick slices
1 onion, peeled and chopped
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2  large eggs
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 C mayonnaise
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
1 T  chopped fresh thyme leaves (1 tsp dried) OR 1 tsp dried dill weed
3 T butter, melted, plus more for pan
1 1/2  sleeves round butter crackers, such as Ritz, broken (about 3 C)
1/4 C  grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Combine squash and onion on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and black pepper. Toss well to combine. Cook for 25 minutes, until squash is slightly softened and has released its liquid. Drain the mixture through a colander. Press gently with paper towels to remove some extra moisture. Let cool a bit as you prepare other ingredients.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350. Place the eggs in a large bowl and whisk. Add sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese, thyme and black pepper and stir together. Fold in warm squash and onions (You don’t want them to be hot from the oven.). Transfer mixture to buttered 3-qt. baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes (You can do the recipe this far and store in the fridge to finish later. If doing so, add topping (step 3) and cook (step 4) in the microwave for about 15 minutes!).

In a small bowl, combine melted butter, cracker pieces and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle in an even layer top on top of the casserole. Return to the oven for 25 to 30 minutes more, until crackers are golden brown and the edges are bubbly. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Most produce is available year-round when shipped from warm climates. But, foods in their season are most delicious! Flavor is only one benefit of seasonal eating. The Seasoned Franciscan will explore them all.

In the Midwest, summer squash and onions are in season in late July/early August. Native to Central and South America as far back as 10,000 years ago, summer squash (from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means “eaten raw or uncooked) is a staple in Native American and Mexican cuisine.  Summer squash come in many varieties, shapes and sizes.  Smaller ones have a better texture, fewer large seeds and more concentrated flavor.  Larger ones are better suited to baking and stuffing.

Learn more:
Restaurant owner and cookbook author Vivian Howard is one of my favorite PBS chefs. She honors seasonal local foods and the African American and Indigenous roots of many southern soul food dishes, the connection between culture and food. Vivian makes this northern girl want to explore more food and culture stories of the south. When describing summer squash she says, it’s “not boring!” “She is elegant, feminine and delicious!” What a beautiful image! Find her Squash and Onions Recipe below or watch her make it herself. You might get interested in other southern foods that do well in northern gardens!

View Vivian’s by visiting to watch her make it herself. (I used oil and butter instead of bacon fat and to make it a main dish added cooked ground turkey with Mexican spices. Any leftover meat will do!)

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